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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

we should treat these matters with caution and with reserve at the present
time.55
The Kremlin's answer that " almost all the detachments formed in
Poland are now fighting alongside the Russians," referred to those men
who had been forcibly pressed either into the Red Army or in the Soviet
branch of the service nominally under control of the ' Lublin Committee.*
The tense atmosphere and confusion regarding the fighting in Warsaw
and Poland was to increase in Britain. " The public so far have heard "
complained Commander Bower in the House, {C a great deal of rumour,
very few facts and an absolute spate of extremely tendentious Communist
propaganda." Therefore it was considered to be " necessary and desir-
able that a very full and frank statement should be made."
Indeed., by September 28, the British Prime Minister found it more than
expedient to refer to Poland in his review of Britain's international policy :
*s It would be affectation to pretend/5 Churchill began3 " that the attitude
of the British^ and; I believe., the United States Governments towards Poland
is identical with that of the Soviet Union. Every allowance must be made
for the different conditions of history and of geography which governs the
relationship of the western democracies on the one hand and of the Soviet
Government on the other towards the Polish nation. Marshal Stalin has
repeatedly declared himself in favour of a strong^ friendly Poland^ sovereign
and independent. In this, our great eastern ally is in the fullest accord with
His Majesty's Government^ and also5 judging from American public state-
ments, in the fullest accord with the United States. We in this island, and
throughout our Empires who drew the sword against mighty Germany ^ we
who are the only great unconquered nation which declared war on Germany
on account of her aggression against Poland—have sentiments and duties
towards Poland which deeply stir the British Nation.* Everything in our
power has been and will be done to achieve^ both in the letter and ia the
spirit^ the declared purposes towards Poland of the three great Allies.
" Territorial changes on the frontiers of Poland there will have to be.
Russia has the right to our support in this matter, because it is Russian
armies which alone can deliver Poland from the German talons, and, after
all, the Russian people have suffered at the hand of Germany—they are
entitled to safe frontiers and to have a friendly neighbour on their western
flank. All the more do I trust that the Soviet Government will make it
possible for us to act unitedly with them in the solution of the Polish problem,
and that we shall not witness the unhappy spectacle of rival Governments in
Poland, one recognised by the Soviet Union and the other firmly adhered to
by the Western Powers ... It is my firm hope, and also my belief, that a
* The Times' report omitted the words "and duties" leaving only "sentiments".
The sentiments of The Times seemed stronger than its sense of fair play.
In those days of 1944 The Times, like the majority of the English press, no longer
viewed the international situation objectively. With subservience to the Soviets
came the ignoble belittlement of all those Allies who happened to be within the
Russian's future sphere of influence. The continued achievements of the Polish
troops fighting in Itaiy> France and Holland went almost unmentioned in the
English Press. For instance, when the Polish Armoured Division occupied
Breda after fierce fighting, The Times reported that the credit for this action
lay with British troops, and on the following day, attributed it to the American
forces. Any tribute to Poland, even when it was expressed in Britain, was
ignored by The Times, as for instance the speech on October 3rd made by Lord
Cranbournej Secretary for the Dominions.
329